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Brain Res. 1990 Dec 24;537(1-2):14-23.

Phase-dependent modulation of primary afferent depolarization in single cutaneous primary afferents evoked by peripheral stimulation during fictive locomotion in the cat.

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Centre de Recherche en Sciences Neurologiques, Faculté de Médecine, Université de Montréal, Que., Canada.


Previous results from our laboratory have shown with intra-axonal recordings that hindfoot cutaneous primary afferents are subjected to rhythmic depolarizations during fictive locomotion (L-PAD) suggesting that cutaneous presynaptic mechanisms are activated by the central locomotor program. In this study, we examined the transmission in pathways responsible for primary afferent depolarizations (PAD) of cutaneous fibres during spontaneous fictive locomotion in decorticate cats and in spinal cats injected with nialamide and L-DOPA. PADs were evoked (E-PADs) by electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves and recorded intra-axonally with micropipettes in identified superficialis peroneal (SP; n = 7) and tibialis posterior (TP; n = 17) cutaneous primary afferents. Results showed that the amplitude of E-PADs, which were superimposed on the L-PAD, was deeply modulated throughout the locomotor cycle; decreasing to reach a minimum during the flexor phase and increasing to a maximum during the extensor phase. The results were not statistically different in fibres of the two nerves and in both types of preparation. The amplitude of E-PADs was always maximum during the extensor phase whether there was a large L-PAD or not during that phase. This suggests that the presynaptic mechanisms activated by central locomotor networks (L-PAD) and those activated by peripheral inputs (E-PAD) may in part be controlled differently. The results thus show that the transmission in PAD pathways activated by cutaneous inputs is phasically modulated by the central pattern generator for locomotion. This strongly suggests that the presynaptic inhibition in cutaneous fibres evoked by the movement-related feedback during real locomotion could be similarly modulated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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